Daily Current Affairs – 21st May 2015, Thursday

A P Shah panel constituted, to review MAT demand on FIIs

i. The finance ministry has constituted a panel to look into the applicability of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on foreign institutional investors (FIIs) before April 2015.

ii. The panel will be headed by A P Shah, chairman of the Law Commission of India.

iii. The panel comprises of three members, one Chairman and other two members are Ashok Lahiri, former chief economic advisor and Girish Ahuja, former associate professor of commerce at Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.

2. SBI join hands with PayPal to enable cross-border transactions

i.  State Bank of India (SBI), has partnership with digital payments company, PayPal, to facilitate cross-border trade and payments. This will be SBI’s first such tie-up for remittances and payments.

ii. The service will be extended to SBI and PayPal users both in India and abroad and is targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SBI currently, has over 900,000 SME customers.

iii. According to B Sriram, Managing Director &Group Executive (National Banking), SBI is also looking at exploring opportunities in e-visa, e-governance, and remittances for the Clean Ganga Campaign with this tie-up.

3. SBI ties up with Snapdeal to offer seller finance

i. State of Bank of India (SBI) has partnered with e-commerce company Snapdeal for seller financing scheme.

ii. Under the scheme, SBI will provide loans to small and medium enterprises at easier interest rates and data regarding the sellers will be provided by Snapdeal.

iii. The seller financing scheme will help MSMEs – traders, sellers and manufacturers – scale up their operations by catering to their working capital requirements, Bhattacharya said.

4. Govt simplify FDI norms for NRIs, PIOs, OCI

i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to eases foreign direct investment norms for NRIs and overseas citizens of India (OCI) as it aims to increase capital flows into the country.

ii. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

iii. As per the DIPP’s proposal any investment made by NRIs, OCIs and Persons of Indian origin (PIO) from their rupee account in India, will not be treated as foreign investment.

iv. The non-repatriable NRI funds would be treated as domestic investments. NRI is defined as a person who is residing outside India but has Indian citizenship.

Note: During the April-February period of the previous fiscal, FDI rose by 39 per cent to $28.81 billion as against $20.76 billion in the same period last fiscal.

5. China, India, Russia to be top 3 shareholders of AIIB: Report

i. According to the Chinese officials of AIIB, China will be the largest shareholder with a 30.85 per cent stake in the newly initiative Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which will be followed by India and Russia.

ii. China is likely to have a 30.85 per cent share in the bank, followed by India with 10.4 per cent.

iii. China was expected to get the post of President followed by India as one of the Vice Presidents, based on the GDP and Purchasing Power Parity, ( PPP)

Note: A total of 57 countries have joined AIIB as founding members, including 37 from Asia, which is set to mainly finance major infrastructure projects in Asia.

6. IndusInd Bank & Worldpay ink pact

i. IndusInd Bank and Worldpay has partnered with to offer acquiring services in India.

ii. Worldpay is a UK-based payment processing company.

iii. The association will assist both the companies in processing customers’ payments and marks the first step for Worldpay in entering the Indian market – a result of the growth in eCommerce across the country.

7. NPCI to tie-up with China UnionPay

i. The Reserve Bank of India has gave a approval to the National Payments and Settlement Corporation of India-NPCI- to tie- up with China Union Pay as well as Japan Credit Bureau which will enable the Chinese and Japanese tourists in India to use Indian ATM and POS terminals to settle their payment transaction.

ii. The tie- up with China Union Pay to be operationalised by March, 2016 .

Note: The Reserve Bank-promoted NPCI which so for offers payment services in the local market is launching its international debit card in June this year.

8. New Ammonia-Urea Complex to be set up at Namrup in Assam

i. Union Cabinet today its nod for setting up of a new Ammonia-Urea Complex at Namrup in Assam on Public Private Partnership mode with an estimated investment of Rs 4500 crore.

ii. The new Complex will have an annual capacity of 8.64 Lakh Metric Tonnes.

iii. The setting up of a new unit will meet the growing demand of urea in North-East, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. It will also accelerate the economic development of the region and will open new avenues for the people of the North-East.

iv. It also approved financial restructuring of Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited by waiving off entire cumulative interest of around Rs 775 crore till March this year.

9. FCIL’s defunct plant at Sindri in Jharkhand to be revival again

i. Union Cabinet today approved the revival of closed urea unit of Fertilizer Corporation India Limited (FCIL) at Sindri in Jharkhand with an investment of Rs 6000 crore.

ii. This unit was lying defunct and was not in operation since 2002 and its revival will help meet the growing demand of urea in the Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.

iii. It will also ease the pressure on railway and road infrastructure due to long distance transportation of urea from Western and Central Regions. The Unit will create 500 direct and 3000 indirect employments.

10. Five world’s largest banks to pay $5.7 bn in fines for manipulating forex market

i. According to the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, five of the world’s largest banks are to pay fines totaling 5.7 billion dollar for manipulating the foreign exchange market.

ii. Four of the banks – JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, RBS – have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges.

iii. The fifth, UBS, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates. Barclays was fined the most, 2.4 billion dollar, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators.

Note: Lynch said that “almost every day” for five years from 2007, currency traders used a private electronic chat room to manipulate exchange rates. Their actions harmed countless consumers, investors and institutions around the world

11. Women can work in night shifts: Maharashtra Govt.

i. Maharashtra Government has decided to make amendments to Factories Act 1948, thus making the way for women employees to work in night shifts.

ii. The Section 66 (1) (c) of the Factories Act, 1948 restricted women from working at a factory between 7 PM and 6 AM.

iii. The amendments will also enable workers to be eligible for paid leave after working for 90 days in a year instead of the current 240 days or more. The changes in the 67-year old Act is likely to bring much needed succor to workers working in over 14,000 factories across the state.

iv. State Industries Minister said that the decision was taken after much deliberations and demands from several labour union leaders and politicians that women be allowed to work post 7 pm.

Note: : With this, Maharashtra will join the select Indian states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh that already allow women to work in night shifts or are in the process of doing so.

12. Saina Nehwal regains no. 1 spot in world badminton rankings

i. Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal regained the number one spot in the latest BWF world rankings released today. Saina secured the numero uno spot for the first time early last month.

ii. She however, climbed to the number one
ranking today once again ahead of the Australian Open, starting on May 26.

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